Posts Tagged ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’

Wine from North Carolina: A We Like Drinking Podcast Exclusive

January 29, 2015

Every Wednesday night, when I get together with my friends from We Like Drinking via Google+ to record the We Like Drinking Podcast, each member of the squad spends a little time talking about the drink that is in their glass at that moment.

This week, I broke into a really special wine that I’ve been sitting on for a while…

But it had to be done…

This week, it was reported that Police recovered almost all of the 76 bottles (worth an estimated $300,000) stolen from French Laundry on Christmas day.  Police recovered the wine from a private wine cellar in North Carolina.

In honor of the the good guys saving the day for all high-end food and luxury wine aficionados out there, I found just the wine to drink…

Biltmore Reserve 2011 North Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon.  What?  You thought I was going to pop open some DRC?  You crazy!

Biltmore Reserve 2011 North Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon. What? You thought I was going to pop open some Screaming Eagle or DRC? You crazy!

This North Carolina Cabernet was a gift from my sister, who visited the Biltmore Estate a few years back.  If you’d like to hear my exclusive take on this particular wine, check out the beginning of this weeks episode of the We Like Drinking Podcast.

You can stream the episode here, or search it up on iTunes under “We Like Drinking Podcast” (you may as well subscribe while you’re there).  We’d love to get your feedback in the comments here, on Twitter (#WeLikeDrinking), or on the We Like Drinking website.  And… of course, if you like it, tell a friend.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

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Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 152: Everybody Wants Mo’ Scotto

January 12, 2015

In this episode, Jeff tries two samples from Scotto Family Cellars while making dinner…

Wine Tasted:

Scotto Family Cellars 2012 Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon with Roasted Asparagus and Pan Seared New York Strip with Chimichuri

Scotto Family Cellars 2012 Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon with Roasted Asparagus and Pan Seared New York Strip with Chimichuri

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite non-Zinfandel based wine from Lodi?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 132: In a Cab Mood

May 7, 2014

In this episode, Jeff breaks open a Napa Valley Cab sample from 50 Harvests.

Wine Tasted:

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Stay Rad,

Jeff

When was the last time a wine made you sad.  Leave a comment, and let us know what you think.

 

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 125: Taking My Time with Food and Wine

December 22, 2013

In this episode, Jeff takes his time in analyzing these two fine samples from Cornerstone Cellars. Get yourself a nice bottle of wine, and a big plate of food, before you watch this one… This one may take a while.

Wine Tasted:

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Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Food Pairing:

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The Big Roy featuring Roasted Garlic, Bacon, Pepper Jack, and Garlic Aioli with a side of Fries, House Ketchup, and Chipotle Ketchup from Cafe 152 Burger in Gilroy

Wine Samples provided by Cornerstone Cellars.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your take on the Cabs of Napa Valley, Howell Mountain, and Cornerstone Cellars? Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 118: Let’s take a Peak!

August 29, 2013

In this episode, Jeff opens up a value wine for #CabernetDay.

Wine Tasted:

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Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve 2011 Lot #18 Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon

After the Fact:

1. Jeff forgot to score this wine on camera.

2. To see what he scored it, check out the Rad Wine Reviews Page.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Have you tried this wine?  What’s your favorite value Cabernet Sauvignon?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

How I Roll

June 22, 2013

Last night, I was heading over to a friend’s house for a little get-together.

He asked everybody to brink an appetizer and a bottle of wine.

Now…

Some folks stress out about what to bring, but not me.

This is how I roll.

Earlier in the day, I stopped by Trader Joe’s to get some apps and wine.

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I got two types of frozen samosas, and tossed ’em in the freezer.

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I also got me a bottle of Trader Joe’s Reserve 2009 Lot #72 Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and put it in the fridge.

Now…

Some folks may question why I would put a red wine in the fridge, but it totally makes sense.  First, it had been sitting at room temperature for a couple of weeks in a grocery store.  That, coupled with the fact that it was pretty hot yesterday, meant that I had to bring the temp of the wine down.

Let’s keep going…

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About an hour before the party, I pre-heated the oven…

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While the oven was getting to temp, I took my dog for a walk.

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After I got back, I was ready to throw the samosas in the oven.

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While the samosas were cooking, I took the wine out of the fridge.

By the time I got to the party, the wine was at perfect cellar temperature.

So…

Now let’s talk about the wine…

You know that I’m a fan of the Trader Joe’s Reserve wines.  It’s tough to go wrong with quality juice at $10.  This Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was produced by Mazzocco Winery (a great Zinfandel-heavy winery in Healdsburg).

Color: Dark ruby.

Nose: Chalky raspberry, blueberry, and plum with hints of leather.

Taste: There are some aggressive (yet chalky) tannins on this wine.  Great fruit notes of raspberries and blueberries.

Score: This is a solid, solid wine.  I love the fruit to this wine, but there is not a whole lot more to it.  Still… at $10, this wine totally over-delivers.  88+

The next time you have to bring apps and wine to a party.  Don’t stress… roll like me.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your wine-of-choice to bring to a dinner party?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Prospecting and Mining for Gold: The Component Tasting at Ridge Vineyards

March 9, 2013

You know I love me some Ridge Vineyards.

In 2011, Kara and I became members of their Monte Bello Collector program.

Along with being able to purchase their epic Monte Bello Bordeaux blend at a deep discount, as members, Kara and I get to go to some pretty awesome events.  Saturday, we went to the First Assemblage and Component Tasting at their Monte Bello estate in Cupertino.  It’s a chance for prospective Monte Bello buyers to taste the individual varietal components of the blend, as well as a sneak peek at the 2012 vintage before it gets bottled up.

Here’s how it all went down…

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At check in, we were treated to a glass of the 2011 Estate Chardonnay. It’s loaded with lemon and minerals, all wrapped up in a cloud of creamy goodness.

Onto the components of the Ridge 2012 Monte Bello…

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This is the 2012 Petit Verdot. It’s got coffee and cocoa on the nose. The mouthfeel is mad grippy. Some initial green flavors transition to fruit of cranberry and orange zest.

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Here’s the 2012 Merlot. Super mocha and espresso on the nose. Big fruits of cherry and cranberry, with just a touch of grapefruit. Wow.

While sipping on this killer Merlot, we took some time to check out the food…

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Charcuterie from Fatted Calf, Bread from Gayle’s Bakery, and Cheese Selections by Kirstin Jackson (Author of It’s Not You, It’s Brie)

More components…

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The 2012 Cabernet Franc had a super espresso and toffee nose. The wine was bright and fun, with a whole lot of raspberry and cranberry fruit.

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On the nose, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon gave notes of chocolate candy oranges. The palate was super bright with orange and raspberry fruit. Hella tasty!

After tasting the components, I was excited to be among the first civilians to taste the primary assemblage of the 2012 Monte Bello.

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Here it is. This is the Ridge 2012 Monte Bello, poured by one Paul Draper. I asked Paul if he was excited about this vintage. He said he was very happy with the big fruit notes on this wine. According to Paul, this wine will rival the 1997 and 2001 vintages of Monte Bello (That is a REALLY good thing). The wine is composed of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Petit Verdot. Of course, this young Monte Bello has espresso on the nose from the toast of the American Oak. There is some massive bright red fruit on this wine, evened out with notes of tobacco and menthol. This wine is great.

The Component Tasting is also the first chance for the public to taste the 2010 Monte Bello.  If you bought futures for this wine in 2011 (like we did), this is also an opportunity to pick up your wine.

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The 2010 Monte Bello has aromas of blackberry and plum. The wine has a great acidity, tasty cranberry fruit, and herbaceous tobacco notes. Mad sophisticated.

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Kara and I took our time enjoying this one.

Back in the tasting room, Ridge had more treats for us…

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The 2010 Estate Merlot shows aromas of bright red fruit and baking spices. The palate has bright cranberry and raspberry fruit with some nice herbs.

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Here’s the 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Big. Bright. Great mouthfeel. Pound for pound, this is one of the best Cabs around.

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The 2007 Monte Bello has menthol and tobacco herbs, along with tomato and cranberry fruit. Very good.

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The 2008 Jimsomare Zinfandel is a rare treat. Bright and concentrated fruits of cranberry, blackberry, and raspberry, with an earthy balance. Good stuff.

What a great event.

I even brought some gold back from the mountain…

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This magnum of Ridge 2010 Monte Bello fits perfectly in my wine fridge. Check back in 2035, and I’ll tell you how it turns out.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite wine event?  Have you ever purchased wine on futures?  Leave a comment, and tell us what you think.

Find wine and wine-related products on Amazon.

Trione on the Go

March 1, 2013

You may have noticed that I didn’t post anything on Stay Rad last week.

That’s because I was stuck in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico…

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What a bummer.

Anyways…

I still had two Tasting Room samples left from Trione.  Since they were only 50 ml each, and small enough to bring through airport security, I decided to take them along for the ride.

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Liquids. Zip Lock Bags. We must be flying.

I was thinking about tasting the wines on the plane, but I’ve read enough articles (like this one) about the adverse effects of altitude and low humidity to know that it wouldn’t be fair to review them from 35,000 feet above sea level.  Instead, I decided to borrow some coffee cups and taste these wines during our layover in Los Angeles.

First up…

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Trione 2007 Block 21 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2007 Block 21 Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Trione’s Cloverdale Ranch.  It’s got 10% Merlot from the Geyserville Ranch, and 2.5% each of Petit Verdot and Malbec from the Cloverdale Ranch as well.  It costs 64 bucks.

Color: Red.  It’s tough to tell.  It’s in a coffee cup.

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See?

Nose: It’s got that good chalkiness on the nose that I love in a good Cabernet Sauvignon.  There’s a concentrated plumminess, as well.

Taste: There’s a bright burst of acid on this wine from beginning to end.  It’s loaded with cranberry and plum fruits.  Good, chalky tannins, and some nice, tobacco leaf flavors on the finish.

Score: This wine is really good.  I like it a lot.  91.

Up next…

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Trione 2007 Alexander Valley Red Wine

The 2007 Red Wine is mostly made of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  It costs $48.

Color: Red.  Like I said.  It was in a coffee cup.

Nose: Pretty tight, but there is a hint of dark plums on this one.

Taste: Bright orange zest and cranberries.  It’s got a nice peppery finish.

Score: Although good, it probably would have shown better if tasted before the Cabernet.  Not anywhere near as big in style as the previous wine, but still tasty.  I’m giving it a solid 89, and telling you to seek out the Block 21 Cabernet Sauvignon instead.

Adios… And Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your go-to airport/airplane beverage?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Find wine and wine-related products on Amazon.

Napa Fun Time 1.2: Everybody Must Get Cornerstone

October 17, 2012

After spending the morning in the wine cave at Del Dotto in Napa, Kara and I headed North on the 29 to the Cornerstone Cellars tasting room in Yountville.

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Cornerstone Cellars

Upon arrival, we met up with managing partner, blogger, and all around great guy, Craig Camp, who hosted us in a tasting of their current releases…

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Stepping Stone 2011 North Coast White Rocks: A dry white blend of Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer, the White Rocks brings flavors of subtle grassy notes and pineapple.  There’s a good acid and weight to this. 87

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Stepping Stone 2010 Napa Valley Riesling: Nose of honey suckle and minerality.  There’s a good medium light weight to this bone dry white. 87

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Cornerstone Oregon 2010 Willamette Valley Chardonnay: Toasty nose of lemon and vanilla. There’s a good, creamy mouthfeel that is complimented by a balanced lemon acidity. I love this wine. 91

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Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc: Pretty nose of papaya and peach. Good lime flavored acidity and subtle grassy notes. 90

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Stepping Stone 2010 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir: A nice, light Pinot Noir that smells of pepper and strawberries. On the palate, the pepper spice is balanced with hints of cola, cranberry, and leather. This is some good stuff. 90+

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Cornerstone Oregon 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir: Toasty nose of tomatoes and cherries are complimented by the taste of cola, cherries, sassafras, and cranberries. There is a great balance to this wine. 91+

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Cornerstone Cellars 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Dark burgundy in color, this wine has a pretty nose of strawberry and black fruits. This Cabernet has some fantastic structure with its smooth, chalky tannins. The wine has plenty of pretty black fruit, and a long finish of black olives (which may be due to the 5% Merlot blended into the wine). I’m a fan. 92

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Cornerstone Cellars 2008 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon: This wine is hella dark. It has a pretty nose of menthol and dried cherries. On the palate, it is all tannin, acid, and spice. This is definitely and age-worthy cab. Craig also poured us a splash of the 2006 to show how it ages. The wine will definitely showcase some herb notes and the tannins pull back over the next few years. This is a great wine. 92+

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Cornerstone Cellars 2009 The Cornerstone Red Wine: This is THEE wine that showcases what good fruit and good winemaking can do in Napa Valley. This wine features 95% Cabernet Sauvignon from the famed Oakville Station/To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville, along with equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The wine is dark red, verging on black. It features a nose of strawberry shortcake and boysenberries. The palate has great fruit of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and plum. There is a nice long acid, good green notes of bell pepper, and chalky, bike tire-like tannins. This a fantastic wine. It has the chops to go toe-to-toe with some of Napa’s finest. 93

Before we took off, Craig brought out some Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from To Kalon for us to sample…

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Yum!

The next time you’re in the Napa Valley, you’ve gotta check out Cornerstone.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Napa Fun Time 1.1: In The Cave, Man

October 16, 2012

This past weekend, Kara and I took a trip up to Napa Valley in celebration of ten years together…

If you’re keeping track, that means we were dating for eight years before we got married.

If you’re wondering what took me so long to pop the question, you’ve got to know that I’m not the brightest crayon in the box.

Anyways…

We had such a great time on Saturday, I don’t think there is any way that I could fit all of the awesomeness into one post.

So…

I present to you…

Napa Fun Time 1.1: In the Cave, Man:

Our first stop on Saturday was the Del Dotto Historic Winery and Caves on Atlas Peak Road in Napa.

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From the outside, the Del Dotto tasting room is very unassuming…

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Once inside the tasting room, it’s easy to see that this is a classy joint. Upon check-in, we were served a tasty pour of the Del Dotto 2010 Cinghiale Vineyard Chardonnay. Class in a glass.

Our host explained to us at the beginning of our tour that Del Dotto likes to focus not just on showcasing the vineyards which grow the wines, but also the oak in which the wine was aged.

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Here he is showing off the different toast levels of a wine barrel.

Next, we took a stroll into the cave to do some barrel tasting.

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Into the cave…

Our host did a great job of showcasing the types of wines that were popular among members of the tour.  We mainly focussed on Cabernet Sauvignon in both American and French Oak barrels.

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The Wine Thief. I’ve gotta get me one of those.

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Here’s a cool looking oak barrel with hecka grooves carved in to add more layers of flavor to the wine. Our hoast called this one a “barrel on steroids”.

The wine was fantastic, but the highlight has to be the fact that you get to throw your wine up against the wall of the cave when you’re done.

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Hey wall. Meet my wine.

The Del Dotto tour is one of the funnest, and most informative, tours I’ve ever experienced in Napa.

This was definitely a great way to start the day.

You’ve gotta visit the cave, man.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Be sure to tune in to the next installment of Napa Fun Time, when Jeff and Kara visit the tasting room of Cornerstone Cellars in downtown Yountville.


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